Iris Van Herpen & Calais


I took a 6 hour coach trip from Plymouth to Calais. This was to see the Iris Van Herpen exhibition at the Calais lace museum, France. This is only the second time I’ve been abroad so far, a trip of many to come I hope.

The exhibition was amazing. I had already seen a few of Iris Van Herpen shows on YouTube and on her website but you never get the full impact of her pieces until you see them up close. She uses leather in almost every piece, the way it has been treated in some it looks more like metal or plastic. The fabric manipulation she has created is so beautiful and technical. I had a few favorites, one being a 3D printed piece. she has collaborated with many different crafts and you can really see how she has interpreted them into her work. its not just fashion, it is art. Iris Van Herpen is extremely innovated, museums already want her work at the age of 29.

The trip was part of a ‘Chrysalis’ project with Calais, Belgium, Plymouth and Bristol. looking in to the innovation of lace.

While at the Calais Lace Museum we had a look around all of the lace history pieces, including the industrial lace machines (which we managed to find by following the loud factory-esque noise), there was lace through the eras. It was interesting to see how it has changed. As I arrived into the last room of the museums exhibition I was amazed to see a whole array of lace inspired work created by students and tutors, people involved in the ‘Chrysalis Project’. I fell in love with an interactive piece, very psychedelic. There was a garment on a mannequin large and padded, almost like a giant crayola suit, with this unusual print. The print was supported by a video with 3D glasses which distorted the distance focus of different areas of the video.

The trip overall was very worth while. I experienced things you just don’t get from the internet or books. I look forward to seeing how my colleges (Plymouth College of Art) contribution to the ‘Chrysalis Project’ develops.







Katie Jones


Recently Katie Jones visited my 2nd year BA fashion course. Katie is a self taught crochet designer. she as completed a 3 year BA degree in knitwear as well as an MA in crochet, both completed at Central St Martins.

Since graduating in march 2013, Katie has been working as a freelance Knit & Crochet designer. She has worked with, new gen Knitwear Designer, Mark Fast, who has shown at London Fashion Week for several years now. Katie interned with Mark Fast in the 2nd year of her BA and has been working with the company for the past 6 years. She is currently starting up a new brand with a friend from Mark Fast. This shows how important internships can be.

In Katie’s BA 3rd year she interned for 6 months in Paris for John Galiano. There she got to see how the fashion world is in reality to how we perceive it. she created a lot of sampling & draping, got a one on one experience and saw the whole fashion process from design to fittings. Katie also interned for 3 months with Diane Von Furstenberg in new york, which was “very hands on” and for 2 moths in Australia for ‘romance was born’.

Being a Freelance Designer, Katie has worked for a few small companies as well as working with Alice Lee.

I found her talk to be very inspirational. While she doesn’t often use all the conventional methods of fashion design she has a whole set of unique skills, which when used in her work really echo her style and personality as a designer and creative individual.

something I will definitely start with my work is creating larger sized design samples. Katie explained how she regular forms samples for her work/designs, and how a good A3 sized piece can really show you how a fabric will behave in different techniques and weights so that when you come to creating a final piece it really works to how you intend.

A lot of Katie’s inspiration comes from film, photography & traveling. She believes that if we all found our research from a book in the library we would all end up with a similar outcome of some form. I completely agree with this and it inspires me to push my research skills further so that I can produce work that is so unique to every other person and I can stand out.

From the 3 collections Katie presented to our class (BA, 6 garment collection/MA collection/GFW, 10 look collection) my favorite, by far, was her graduate fashion week collection. This was a collection Katie had produced after completing her crochet masters degree. It is full of life and colour. She used yarns which she already owned, some left over from her BA collection. This shows a natural instinct to be resourceful and sustainable. She’s not wasting the fabrics she uses.

The thing I love the most about Katie is that she is just a real person. By this I mean that she isn’t some obnoxious designer you might imagine after watching ‘Devil Wears Prada’. She makes mistakes and she is constantly learning new things. She has achieved the level she is at by a lot of hard work and a strong motivation & desire to be in the fashion industry. It drives her and pushes her to reach further.

I found Katie to be a huge inspiration and I hope to be as successful as her one day. The passion Katie has for crochet & her work really shows. I believe that without that fire she wouldn’t be as successful as she has already become and she has only just begun. I cant wait to see collections from her in the years to come. I am already a huge fan of her work.




Milan Fashion Week SS2014 Roundup

Originally posted on M&J Blog:

Milan Fashion Week is drawing to a close, and while we’re excited for Paris Fashion Week, we are a little sad to see it end. There’s a cool confidence in Italian fashion that you can’t find anywhere else, and this week provided perfect examples of that effortless persona.  Here are a few of our favorite looks from the Italian runways for Spring and Summer 2014.

Emporio Armani SS2014

Fashion house, Emporio Armani, opted for a light, cool-toned palette for SS2014. The shapes were streamlined, yet soft, and the muted pastels were chic alternatives to the Easter Sunday dresses some of us grew up with as kids. Gone are the days of bold baby blues! (At least for now.)

Fausto Puglisi SS2014

Contrast is the word that comes to mind when discussing the Fausto Puglisi show. Bold, voluminous skirts were paired with edgy biker jackets. This look is definitely reminiscent of an 80s LA rocker. AC/DC anyone?

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Should People Ever Become Angry?


Totally agree x

Originally posted on How Leaders Manage:


If you influence people in any way, which you probably do, you should be the epitome of calm.  You are expected to remain cool under pressure.   People depend on you to keep a good head, because when some people become angry, they become STUPID.


Some people believe that when the feeling of anger hits them, they should feel guilty.  They feel as if they shouldn’t fall victim to those emotions, because it is possible to lose control and make bad decisions and poor judgments in their relationships.


The reality is; a leader can and SHOULD become angry. Imagine this:  Your child comes home and they appear terrible.  They look as if they were in a wreck. They are bloody, beaten, and sobbing.  In obvious pain they limp toward you, wiping away the tears as they approach, and struggle to lift their arms to hug you.  As…

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I have recently received a brief for my year 2 degree fashion summer project at PCA. Now I am a very badly organised person and my personal motivation can be a big downfall for me so this time I have decided to create a timetable plan for me as a guide. My stabilisers in a way.

The project is about lace. I am going to focus on a few tasks based on research for my first week. Then once I have analysed and annotated it all (another thing I am very bad at keeping on top of) I will move on to finding fabric swatches and primary research. Once that again has all been annotated my second week will consist of creating a collection of samples which i have developed and analysed myself. week three/four will be starting my design ideas and linking them to my research and samples. I intend to make these to a progressive standard from which I have been working. practice makes perfect. I will need to develop these into photoshop/illustrator for a higher standard of work and so that I can get used to working with these programmes. I will pick my final designs, annotate and analyse these, perhaps create a customer profile. Then all that should be left is my overall evaluation and just giving my work a check through, making sure everything is typed up and portrays a good aesthetic.

I will also be attempting to keep up with some daily exercise to help me stay motivated and not lazy. This is important to me as I know I want a future in design. I need to prove to myself that I can complete this to a high standard and that I have matured in my work ethics. fingers crossed



“21 things you should know before you graduate” lecture held by Richie Manu

Richie Manu   image (4)

A week or so ago I received an email from my college inviting me to a lecture “21 things you need to know before you graduate”. Now, whilst I am currently a first year fashion degree student and this is aimed towards people slightly closer to graduating, I felt ‘this is something I should know!’, ‘I want to hear what Richie Manu has to say & how it might help my future’. so today at 14:00 I attended “21 things you need to know before you graduate” in the lecture theatre of Plymouth College of Art. I found it highly informative and it has opened my eyes to how I can get myself out into eyes, ears & minds or the career world.

Richie Manu  is a man of many things. He focuses on three main career areas, one, he is a lecturer. Richie teaches MA applied imagination (design studies) at Central ST. Martins and Creative fashion management at The London College of Fashion. Two, Richie Manu is a designer. He is involved in branding & communications and started out his career as a “band chaser”, finding out about new bands and getting involved in designing for them. Three, Richie is a mentor. working in sharing his views and what he has learnt about career development and touring the UK holding seminars like the one I visited today.

The creative industry has the biggest employment in the UK. It is worth £36 billion a year.

There are 232,000 designers working in the UK, of which 65,900 are freelance (something I am interested in) and 82,500 are consultancies. Nearly 10% of the UK’s creative industry is in the south west, which is a huge amount but of which less than 1% is fashion & textiles. With 11,000 graduates each year, I need to be at the top of my game to get my foot through the door and into my desired fashion career.

Richie talked a little about work placements. A fellow audience member mentioned how going on a work placement had helped her to experience working to deadlines and how it gave her a whole new view on the industry and how much she got to experience from it. Richie asked how big we all thought the industry was…..HUGE, it is a huge industry,so hard to get into, and with employers finding it difficult to hire graduates with them supposedly being “good on creativity but lack the finishing skills..” Richie developed a short film in the beginning of his career. It was made to create more connectivity between industry & education. Students/Graduates held up white card with their insights and thoughts noted down, whilst employers/businesses held up black card with their views. This helped to voice each side of opinions and knock down the barriers. This film got a lot of attention and created thoughts and opinions (good & bad) of people in the industry/public/people trying to get into the industry. This in turn helped to get Richie out into the network and into peoples minds…..”Consurgo!”

image (3) image (2) image (1)


Personally at the moment, I don’t feel like I make myself stand out that much in any way. But I intend to, using the information I have learnt from “21 things you should know before you graduate”;

  1. become a pest  -invite potential employers to shows & projects. -get their opinions
  2. be prepared for criticism  -take on board all constructive criticism good or bad.
  3. build a force field 
  4. residual networking  -get people talking about you. -whether its good or bad. -networking & connecting.

This is similar to Richie’s flip idea of the CV. A CV should not just be a 2D piece of paper, it is made up of 5D’s;

Differentiate, Devils advocate, Dynamic, Disruption & Deliver.

essentially these key points help to put you ahead of all the other ‘apples’. Create change or process, stand out, get critical opinions, change the way people see things and deliver.


Of course having qualifications and work experience are key in applying for a job or appealing to an employer, but the most important part is your personality. Your likeability, can you fit it, are you desirable. its the things that push you apart from the other ‘apples’ and make you stand out, make you different. Be unforgettable!

two apples

Now, I have mentioned ‘apples’ one or two times. This is because as part of a demonstration Richie got us to describe these apples. These two apples were exactly the same, just two run of the mill ‘apples’. first he asked for key words….”fresh”…..”green”…”shiny”.  Then without those key words…..”organic”….”edible”…”hard”. But after that Richie asked us to sell an apple to us, both exactly the same but he wanted us to make one seem so much more appealing to the other….”solid”….”strong”….. “provides nutrients”….”keeps the DR away”. But we hadn’t quite grasped it.

The apples were a metaphor for where we are in our lives professionally as potential employees. essentially we are each an apple. same key points, same CV, same everything……Until we add a story. Dan Pink talks about ‘story’ as one of the main senses, it influences culture and helps to differentiate us.

To get ahead in which ever path we plan to take in our careers we need to make ourselves STAND OUT. we need to be UNFORGETTABLE. and we need to NETWORK ourselves into peoples minds. collaborate. be yourself but an unforgettable you.

I loved the lecture, I found it very informative. Richie went into a lot of detail and being in the lecture and experiencing how everyone around feels and understands what is going on is a great atmosphere. I felt that Richie was really easy to talk to, very approachable and he made it all so easy to understand. If you ever hear of this lecture being held near you I would advise you to go to it! whether you are graduating this year, next year or not for a few years, or even if you are just looking for a job and want to find a way to get more response, it is a great experience. I would definitely go again.

image image (3) image (2) image (1)

most images are ones I have taken myself whilst sat in the lecture but a few have been taken from PCA email link which I was sent, so they are not my own.


Western Morning News Monday 31st October 2011


work produced by my knit tutor over a year ago. I love knit so much and Becky is the person who taught me to knit. I hope to be as good as her in the next few years t come. She has such passion for knit, I love it.

Originally posted on Becky Dodman Knitwear:

Thanks to the Western Morning News (Journalist Sarah Pitt) for the great write up :-)


Link here:


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